, ,

One of the most frequent questions that I get around Thanksgiving from all of my friends is, how did you make those mashed potatoes that time we ate at your place?  The mashed potato is one of my favorite side dishes, but also one that I feel very guilty about making.  The world of low-carb mania and fat free everything does give me pause, but you can season these lovely tubers to total yumminess with half the fat.  Most of my posts have ingredients and instructions in them, but for this one, we will be going a bit less scientific.

The first thing that you will need are potatoes 🙂  Ok, so that’s a bit of pointing out the obvious, but the selection of a potato is not as simple as you would think.  The type of mash you like will determine the type of potato you get.  For example- if you want a light and fluffy batch, a Russet potato would be your best bet because it has a higher water content, but if you like your mash a little bit thicker and creamier, then a golden or buttery potato is for you.  My suggestion is to keep an eye on the sales and to just try all of the different types there are to determine which one you like the most.

For this description, I shall assume that you’ve gone the traditional American route and chosen the lovely Idaho Russet potato!  Right, first step, boil your potato until it is fork tender.  Wait, what? Fork what?  This mean exactly what it say- if you can easily stick a fork in it, then it is done.  You can either leave the skins on or peel the spuds before boiling, but personally, I find both options tasty.

Once you have boiled your potatoes, place them into a large bowl or stand mixer.  I like to put the butter into the potatoes while they are still piping hot so that it melts into a gooey salty goodness, but it doesn’t make much difference.  The ingredient that will drastically change the texture of your mashed potatoes is the milk.  When you want to have a rich and creamy batch, I suggest that you use heavy cream or half and half, but if you don’t really care and aren’t looking to eat so much fat, then skim milk will do just fine.  Start out slowly with the milk/cream (1/4 cup at a time) and begin to mash using either the mixer, a potato masher, or a fork (this will tire out your hand, just saying).

As you are mixing, you will want to season.  This is where you can get creative and zesty.  I’ve had the urge to mix a packet of ranch dressing mix into masher, a classic combo is minced garlic and oodles of butter, you can also go crazy and use sour cream and chives with some bacon bits!  The taste is entirely up to you.